29 June 2010

The Mother-Daughter Book Club

Lighting-review round.

What do you get when you put a great idea together with a poorly thought-out layout?  The Mother-Daughter Book Club.

Shireen Dodson really put together a great guide to help busy moms stay connected with their daughters through a book club.  Ideas are offered about group size, discussion style, activities, and a list of books (Dodson's second book, 100 Books for Girls to Grow On, is meant as a companion volume so the "official" book list in TMDBC is limited to fifteen titles).  Dodson really tries to show how mothers and daughters can remain close and broach difficult topics using a bookclub as medium.  The girls from Dodson's two groups (one for each of her daughters since they are far enough apart in age that the bookclubs didn't overlap) all contributed little bios that were sprinkled throughout the book.

The "throughout" is the problem.  Not only are the bios sprinkled in between sections of chapters, there are little bulleted tips, short quotes, and paeans to reading from authors and educators (with reading lists) inserted in the middle of sentences.  It's really hard to easily read this book because Dodson's thoughts and sentences are continually interrupted by all this other "stuff" - while the "stuff" is nice it gets in the way. I really think the editor/designer should have been more careful with the layout of the book because it hurts Dodson's message and makes it less likely for a busy mom* to make it all the way through the book.

*I'm not a mom but I have three nieces and I'm pretty sure my SIL would qualify as a "busy mom" - I'm thinking she wouldn't slowly try to piece this book together; she'd just go read something else because her "alone time" is severly limited right now.

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